Friday, August 15, 2008

PAS chief tells allies: Don't sideline us (Malaysiakini)



PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang today appealed for understanding from allies PKR and DAP, saying that his party had been the 'kingmaker' in the March polls by helping the opposition score their biggest win ever.

We had lent our hands to other Pakatan parties during the election... but we should not be carried away with it or be sidelined," he said in a speech to about 5,000 people in the Indera Mulia Stadium, where the PAS 54th annual general assembly was being held.

The Islamic party has drawn fire from its allies, especially the DAP, for having secret talks with Umno, the backbone of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, soon after the general elections.

Although, PAS has since said it will not desert its partners and will stay in the Pakatan Rakyat alliance ‘forever and ever', suspicion still lingers.

The party's hardline policies on its Islamic agenda has also often been a thorn in its relations with its multiracial partners DAP and PKR.

"We (as the opposition) worked together as a team realising that the previous election was full of flaws, deceit and cruelty," Abdul Hadi said. "But most importantly, we have to hold firm to our principles and our goals to fight (for what we believe in),"

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, his wife and PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Perak DAP chairperson Ngeh Koo Ham were guests at the muktamar, or general assembly. Islamic movement leaders from Jordan and Pakistan were also present.

Abdul Hadi also sought to soothe party members, who have been angered by the possibility of a merger with Umno.

"PAS would never join any party that has a disease," he said, receiving jeers from the crowds.Last month,

Abdul Hadi said the partywould not cooperate with Umno but it was open to meeting with any political parties, including its arch rival, on matters relating to Islam.

MB council proposed

Abdul Hadi called on the Pakatan-led states of Selangor, Kedah, Perak, Penang and Kelantan to share their natural resources, water supply and harbour facilities so as to become more competitive in the bid for foreign and local investors.

He said PAS would propose a council to be established for the chief ministers or mentri besar of the five Pakatan states. The intention is to create a platform to "share the wealth and the strength" of the opposition-held states, he added.

Abdul Hadi also suggested that a special committee be established to oversee the execution of these plans.
"This committee should be led by representatives from Pakatan is to ensure that the administration plans are executed accordingly," he said.

full news courtesy of Malaysiakini (Rahmah Ghazali)